Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Saturday said he would not deviate from his “Raj dharma”, which enables him to take stern action against any individual, group or institution indulging in acts that are against the Constitution.
Speaking at the Hindustan Times Leadership Summit in New Delhi, Fadnavis said he does not recognise “extreme left or extreme right”. The remark came on the heels of the Maharashtra Police raiding the homes of prominent Left-wing activists and arresting five of them for suspected Maoist links on August 28.
Asked whether he believed that action against the activists, who have been described as ‘Urban Maoists’, was witchunt and did he face any dilemma during the crackdown, Fadnavis said: “ I am doing my Raj dharma. I don’t recognise extreme right or extreme left. Any person, group or institution found acting against the Constitution would be dealt with firmly. They may belong to any caste, class or religion or ideological leanings.”
“There was absolutely no witch hunt while taking action against any activists… So many pseudo seculars came together and approached the Supreme Court. Yet, the Supreme Court ruled in our favour,” he added.
The raids of August 28 were carried out as part of a probe into the violence between Dalits and the upper caste at Koregaon Bhima village on January 1. “The Bhima Koregaon incident was just one instance. But what followed exposed a larger conspiracy to trigger a civil war by pitting two communities against each other,” said Fadnavis. He claimed that there was ample evidence to corroborate that some people were colluding with the Naxals in various places, including Gadchiroli in Maharashtra, Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh. On converting Mumbai into Shanghai, the CM quipped, “Let’s keep Mumbai as Mumbai. It is better. It has its own distinct character.”
Proposing that petrol and diesel should be brought under the GST, Fadnavis said there should also be an alternative, like ethanol, which would help bring down import by 30 per cent in the next five years.